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Breakthroughs that will shape the future of the cereal-based goods industry

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Global Cereal Products Industry


Global cereal production in 2011 is forecast to reach almost 2,330 million tons, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), representing over 3.5% output increased compared with 2010.


Large segment of the food industry, cereal products include barley, wheat and oats. Barley is used in a wide range of products including malt beverages, beer, whiskey, biscuits and cereal flakes. Wheat is used to make flour, which is used for pasta, cakes and breads. Oats are husked in the initial processing phase, before being milled for oatmeal and oat flakes, which are used in the production of skincare products, animal feed, muesli, breakfast cereal, porridge and biscuits.


Though production output is up, prices are under pressure from slowing worldwide economic recovery, which threatens climbing unemployment and falling incomes. There is also a falling off in demand compared with forecasts, which caused cereal prices to drop dramatically in September 2011.


Key Market Products


  • The global pasta market is expected to almost hit the 18 million ton mark by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. The US and the EU combined represent 60% of pasta consumption. Demand is growing across all sectors including Africa and the Middle East, driven by advantages such as easy preparation, long shelf life and favorable nutritional content. Global consumption is uneven, with the Japanese market consuming less than 2 kilograms annually while yearly consumption in Italy is close to 30 kilograms.


  • The world bread and rolls market is forecast to reach over $174 billion in 2014, according to MarketLine, representing a near 12% expansion in the five-year period ending 2014. The market is expected to exceed 75,000 million kilograms in volume by 2013. Artisanal bread and rolls represent over half the overall market.


  • According to MarketLine, the world breakfast & cereal market will be worth over $34 billion in 2015, representing yearly growth of 4% over the five-year period ending 2015. In terms of volume, the market is predicted to expand 15% in the five-year period to reach over 4,360 million kilograms. Ready-to-eat cereals are a key market segment with sales of over $24 billion in 2010, or over 85% of the overall market. The Americas constitutes the leading region, with almost 65% of the global market.



Industry Leaders


Illinois-based Archer Daniels Midland is a leading company in the pasta market. The company, which is a global leader in wheat, corn and oilseed processing, employs more than 30,000 people across 75 countries, operating 265 processing plants and 330 sourcing facilities. The company generated over $80 billion in sales up to the end of June in 2011. Other leading players on the pasta market include Campbell, Barilla, American Italian Pasta, ConAgra Foods, Armanino Foods, General Mills, Fliori-Bruna and Strom Products.


Key players on the bread market include German-based sweet biscuit and cake maker Bahlsen, India’s Britannia Industries, George Weston Foods, Riviana, Sara Lee and Parle Products. United Biscuits, which sells its products in more than 100 countries, generated revenue of almost $1,270 million in 2010. The company’s product portfolio includes Penguin, McVitie’s, Jacob’s and Hula Hoops. Other leading players on the bread and breakfast cereal markets include Kellogg, which holds over 35% of the cereal market, The Great Canadian Bagel, Nestle Chile and Strauss Group.



Cereal Product Industry Trends


Cereal consumption between 2011 and 2012 is predicted to exceed 2,300 million tons, totaling a 1.5% year-on-year increase, in line with rising global population, reports the FAO. Wheat production is forecast to increase 6%, rice to rise almost 3.5%, and coarse grains to increase over 2.5%.


The cereal production industry will witness a continuing trend toward wheat for animal feed on the back of lower prices to grow 5.5% worldwide and 3% in developed nations as production in these regions rebounds. Global cereal stocks are expected to expand by almost 3.5% on opening levels to over 505 million tons by the close of 2012 seasons. This would bring the global ratio of cereal stocks-to-use to over 20%. Prices are being squeezed by macro economic instability.


FAO estimates that more than 30 countries need external help due to factors negatively impacting cereal production such as natural disasters, conflict, crop failure and rising domestic food prices.



Leading Industry Associations




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